Weberian Theory Of Ideal Types

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The achievement gap: these two words plague the K-12 education system in the United States. The disproportionately low academic performance of students of color compared to their white counterparts has stirred many conversations. In general, there have been two responses. The first romanticizes the gap as the troubles of hopeless students of color and calls for interventions that include tracking, strict standardized testing, and a banking curriculum. The second response calls for action at the larger structures. Educators are urged to implement social justice awareness curriculum. The way that these responses have been conceptualized is an important part of understanding the problem. Therefore, it would be helpful to examine the way that…show more content…
Weber defines ideal types as a concept map in our mind that represents an idea in the most clear and general way. These constructs are systematically and sociologically produced in an inductive process. In other words, individuals construct these ideal types by observing reality and forming their own conceptions through sociological research. Weber emphasizes that an individual’s social markers will have an influence on the ideal type. This is crucial for Weber as his theory focuses on the impossibility for objectivity in the social sciences. Understanding ideal types is an extension to his premise that social science research is subjective. Ideal types are a subjective concept that an individual conceptualizes in their mind. Understanding the role of subjectivities in the social sciences has helped me understand the flexibility of sociological terms-- or ideal types. For example, I can understand that the concepts explaining the disparity in academic performance between students of colors and white students should be used as a ruler to put against reality and see how it compares. With this in mind, I believe Weber’s notion of the protestant ethic’s relation to the spirit of capitalism should be furthered in order to explain the reality that I see in operation of the achievement…show more content…
Weber defines the protestant ethic as the morals and values that Protestantism promotes. They include working hard and living an ascetic and frugal life. He believed that this ethic led to an attitude that was successful under capitalism. This so called spirit of capitalism consisted of an individual to have a vocation, work hard at it to make money, and find ways to make more money. The protestant ethic and the spirit of capitalism is Weber’s explanation on why “modernization” and industrialization occurred specifically in Europe. I believe this concept promotes a very individualistic framework that can be connected to the contemporary deficit framework used to explain the achievement gap. There is a belief that the achievement gap exists because students of color are not working hard enough and they don’t value education. Instead of looking through a larger lens and at the structures and systems that perpetuate the inequalities in school, the focus goes on the individual. In the same way, Weber also focuses on the individual. His claim strips down to the idea that industrialization developed in Europe instead of in any other region of the world, because in Europe there were hard working people. Weber doesn’t mention the colonization and extraction of raw materials and labor that was used to fuel the industrialization in

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